Welcome to ...

The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Daily Drift

Wingnuts - Always Wrong About Everything ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

 Always ... !
Today is  - You Matter To Me Day
Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Tehachapi and Tupelo, United States
Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Quebec, Hamilton and Oakridge, Canada
Luquillo, San Juan and Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Boaco and Managua, Nicaragua
Santiago, Chile
Londrina, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Krakow, Poland
Prague and Karlin, Czech Republic
Salo, Finland
Rome, Naples, Treviso, Milan and Ravenna, Italy
Reykjavik, Iceland
Hurth and Cottbus, Germany
Laval, Rouen, Salon-De-Provence and Rixheim, France
Eastbourne and Sunderland, England
Madrid, Spain
Ruse and Sofia, Bulgaria
Cacem and Covilha, Portugal
Pecs, Hungary
Kongnens Lyngby, Denmark
Kista and Goeteborg, Sweden
Zagreb, Croatia
Tbilisi, Georgia
Vladivostok and Omsk, Russia
Piraeus, Greece
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Stavanger, Norway
Bratislava, Slovakia
Tehran, Iran
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Pune, Udaipur, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Patna, Ahemdabad, Jodhpur, Gaya and Delhi, India
Kyoto, Japan
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Baku, Azerbaijan
Jakarta, Indonesia
Singapore, Singapore
George Town, Malaysia
Medea, Algeria
Lusaka, Zambia
Johannesburg, South Africa
The Pacific
Homebush, Australia
Balibago, Philippines

Today in History

1571 In the last great clash of galleys, the Ottoman navy is defeated at Lepanto, Greece, by a christian naval coalition under the overall command of Spain's Don Juan de Austria.
1765 Delegates from nine of the American colonies meet in New York to discuss the Stamp Act Crisis and colonial response to it.
1849 Edgar Allan Poe, aged 40, dies a tragic death in Baltimore. Never able to overcome his drinking habits, he was found in a delirious condition outside a saloon that was used as a voting place.
1870 French Minister of the Interior Leon Gambetta escapes besieged Paris by balloon, reaching the French provisional government in Tours.
1913 In attempting to find ways to lower the cost of the automobile and make it more affordable to ordinary Americans, Henry Ford took note of the work of efficiency experts like Frederick Taylor, the "father of scientific management." The result was the assembly line that reduced the time it took to manufacture a car, from 12 hours to 93 minutes.
1944 Prisoner uprising at Birkenau concentration camp.
1949 Iva Toguri D'Aquino, better known as Tokyo Rose, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason.
1949 East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, is formed.
1957 A fire in the Windscale plutonium production reactor (later called Sellafield) north of Liverpool, England, spreads radioactive iodine and polonium through the countryside and into the Irish Sea. Livestock in the immediate area were destroyed, along with 500,000 gallons of milk. At least 30, and possibly as many as 1,000, cancer deaths were subsequently linked to the accident.
1976 Hua Guofeng, premier of the People's Republic of China, succeeds the late Mao Zedong as chairman of the Communist Party of China.
1985 Four Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) hijackers seize the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and demand the release of 50 Palestinians held by Israel.
1993 The Great Flood of 1993 on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers ends, the worst US flood since 1927.
1996 Faux News Channel begins lying.
2001 US invasion of Afghanistan in reaction to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 begins; it will become the longest war in US history.
2003 California voters remove Democratic governor Gray Davis from office in the state's first successful recall of a sitting governor (only the second successful recall of a governor in US history); a repugican candidate, bodybuilder/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger wins the election to replace Davis 17 days later.

Mom Burglarizes Cars At School, Claims She's Looking For ISIS

From the "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Department:
Apparently, there's growing concern that the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria could attack the United States from within -- cops just don't believe that terrorists will start by hiding in cars on Mississippi school property.
That allegedly didn't stop Lisa Carol Roche from using ISIS as an alibi. The Hurley woman is accused of burglarizing cars in the parking lot of her children's school, then telling officers that she was "looking for ISIS terrorists," according to Gulf Live.
Roche, 41, was caught stealing sunglasses and other items from cars at East Central High School. She remained in Jackson County Adult Detention Center Friday.
She's been charged previously with careless driving, felony fraud and felony embezzlement. She faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of commercial burglary.
Gawker points out that it's unclear whether she'll be questioned about her terrorist intel in court.

We Are Way Better Off Than We Were When the shrub Left Office As Jobless Rate Falls To 5.9%

obama happy
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released September’s employment figures on Friday and it was almost entirely good news. The economy added 248,000 new jobs during the month and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%. This is the lowest level the jobless rate has been since July 2008 and reiterates that President Obama has helped to resuscitate a moribund economy that was suffering through a horrific financial crisis when he took over. The BLS also revised jobs numbers upwards for the months of August and July, revealing that we actually added 61,000 more jobs than previously estimated during those two months.
The country is essentially at full employment now. Economists state that for a nation to be at full, healthy employment, the unemployment rate needs to be between 5.5% and 6.0%. These numbers helpfully point out that the country is indeed better off than it was when Barack Obama was first sworn in. When Obama took office in January 2009, the country was in the grips of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That month, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8% and climbing. The next month, it rose to 8.3% and kept rising until it hit a peak of 10.0% in October 2009. However, President Obama’s stimulus package, along with other initiatives, helped create jobs and reverse the trend.
In 2014 alone, the unemployment rate has dropped by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million jobs have been added. Therefore, whenever you hear someone like  Ted Cruz (r-TX) claim that “Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country,” as he has done numerous times, you know he is completely full of it. Seriously, since the full implementation of the law last year, the country has added well over 2 million jobs. If a law is a ‘job killer,’ shouldn’t it actually be killing jobs?
The labor force participation rate remained mostly unchanged at 62.7%. While wingnuts will claim that this number shows that there are a lot of people that are discouraged and just giving up on finding work, the majority of this is attributed to baby boomers retiring, students either going to school or remaining in school for post-graduate programs and two-parent households where one partner decides to stay at home to raise children. Is there a large number of long-term unemployed that need assistance? Certainly. Of course, you don’t see repugicans doing anything about providing additional unemployment insurance to these people.
Where improvement needs to be seen is in the median wage. Wages remained stagnant in September, as the median wage actually dropped one cent, down to $24.53 an hour. Now, raising the minimum wage, even modestly, would do quite a bit to push this number up and provide additional income to working class people. Once again, while this is an easy solution, repugcans have stood firm and refused to do anything about it. Therefore, we are stuck with a minimum wage that is not in line with today’s economic needs.
Still, these numbers do reflect that President Obama has made things better for Americans since first taking office. However, you wouldn’t know it based on all of the doom-and-gloom naysayers, many from his own party, that make it seem that Obama is set out to destroy America and its economy. The man inherited a total mess, and while there are still improvements that need to be made, and income inequality is a real issue in this country, this nation is exponentially better off than it was when the shrub vacated the White House. Democrats need to embrace the President and what he’s done for this nation during the midterms this year, instead of falling over themselves trying to create a distance between them and Obama.

The repugicans Battle Early Voting In the Next Phase of Their War on Fair Elections

As repugicans reduce early voting hours, they make a seemingly logical argument. We should get rid of early voting because it opens up opportunities for nefarious people to vote more than once.  We already know that at least a couple of 2014 repugican Candidates, registered to vote in 2 or more states. Certainly, early voting makes it possible for repugicans like Kathy Myalls and Leslie Rutledge to vote more than once.  Limiting voting to Election Day definitely would protect the election process from people like Myalls and Rutledge.
Of course, we know that when repugicans express concern about multiple votes, they aren’t talking about Myalls and Rutledge, or about Mitt Romney, who ommitted voter fraud..  They were victims of star crazed clerks, an inability to read forms for accuracy before signing them and pushy clerks who forced them to fill out change of address forms when they wanted to update their voter registration information.
The repugicans are worried that someone working 3 minimum wage jobs in Wisconsin just to put food on the table, will somehow have the time and finances needed for travel to other states during early voting so they can vote more than once.  Sure they are.  And my name is Sarah Palin.
The simple truth is repugicans hate early voting because it is used predominately by people who don’t have the means to have so many homes in so many states that they can forget if they still live at the address shown on their voter registration card.  Early voting means access to the vote for people who live in districts that lack the resources to accommodate voter demand on Election Day.
Indeed, the voting experience in America varies, depending on where you live.  That’s the general thrust of a study by the Government Accountability Office. (GAO)  Granted, this is based on limited data because the GAO estimates that 78% of precincts didn’t have any data on the primary issue that early voting addresses: wait times.
In some cases by design, voting is easy, convenient and fast. Voters don’t have to wait in line. In fact, waiting 10 minutes to vote would be unacceptable. According to the GAO’s findings, In predominantly minority and poor districts, the voting experience is much more time consuming.
This study doesn’t offer any new insights. Rather it verifies what other studies have already said.
The GAO identifies several criteria affecting the time people wait to vote.  Opportunities to vote before Election Day. The time it takes to check-in which depends on the type of poll books that election officials use and the means by which a voter’s eligibility is determined. In other words, highly restrictive voter ID requirements provide two real obstacles. First the financial costs that go with travel and costs of documents needed, even when the state provides “free” Voter ID.  Second, restrictive ID requirements prolong the check in process.  In reality, if the real concern is assuring eligibility, this process could be shortened with a National Voter ID card. The time it takes to vote can also very depending on the composition of the ballot and the voting equipment.
This study, like others before it, also confirm that long wait times at the polls in concentrated in “particular places — certain states, cities, and areas with large minority populations.”
The GAO doesn’t consider other factors that prolong the voting process, like long commutes to distant polling places, many of which are not accessible by public transit. The commute to that remote polling place alone can take longer than the entire process takes in a more affluent district.  After that long commute, voters endure long lines based on the factors considered in the GAO study.  Many of us can put in a full day’s work during the wait time that some voters must endure to exercise their franchise.
The purpose of early voting is to make voting less time consuming. That is especially important for people who are juggling family responsibilities and several jobs.  Waiting hours to vote isn’t an option for people who need every penny they earn at thankless slave wage jobs, just to put food on the table.
According to election administration researchers, long waits discourages voting.  Since repugicans benefit when voter participation is low, the motive behind their desire to reduce early voting is obvious.
Voters in Kosovo’s first post war election waited in line for 15+ hours to exercise their franchise.  In the end, demand could not be met and at just one voting center, approximately 3,000 people could not vote. This is according to one of our voting monitors who, like many others, went to Kosovo to teach the locals how to hold elections and make sure that the elections were run properly.
The repugicans are trying to create separate and unequal voting experiences. The repugican voters (in predominantly white and affluent districts) will retain a modern and sophisticated voting experience in keeping with an advanced society.  In direct contrast, the voting experience in less affluent, predominantly minority and Democrat strongholds will compare to that of countries learning how to conduct free and fair elections.  None of this coincides with the free and fair elections that are part of the American exceptionalism that repugicans claim to believe in.

Kochs sent hundreds of thousands of fake voter registration mailings in North Carolina

When the North Carolina arm of the Koch brothers' un-Americans for non0Prosperity group tried to register a cat to vote it was amusing. But with more of the story unfolding now, it's downright infuriating.It didn't make any sense. Jennifer Odom's daughter shouldn't have gotten anything in the mail, let alone a voter registration form.
"It was disturbing for a couple of reasons," said Odom. "First, Samantha would only be four-and-a-half years old. So it's a far cry from the age of voting. Secondly, she passed away two years ago."
Odom says her daughter died on Sept. 11, 2012.
"That's right about the time we started getting these notices," said Odom.
It turns out that AFP has sent hundreds of thousands of these error-ridden, confusing voter registration forms in North Carolina, and both local elections offices and the state board of elections have been swamped with phone calls from confused voters. The forms had numerous bits of misinformation, from filing deadlines to where to send the completed forms to who to contact for more information. The scope of this misinformation is massive, considering it's gone to hundreds of thousands of voters, and has resulted in an investigation by the state, after the state Democratic Party filed an official complaint. Deliberately misinforming voters is a felony.
But here's an interesting part to the story. Remember all the pooh-poohing about the Democrats' strategy of hitting the Kochs? When repugicans and pundits alike were saying that the Koch brothers had no name recognition and it would all backfire? Look at how the local news framed this story: "The group behind the mailing is the sharply wingnut, Koch brothers-backed un-Americans for non-Prosperity Foundation." No, nobody ever heard of the Kochs and their anti-democratic activities.

Faux News Left In Tatters After President Obama Levels Them With An Epic Truth Bomb

All it took was one sentence from President Obama to send Faux News into a total panic. The president took down Faux with a short and sweet dose of reality that showed just how small the wingnut network really is.
At Northwestern, the president said, “But I have laid out my ideas to create more jobs and grow more wages. A true opposition party should have the courage to lay out theirs. There’s a reason fewer repugicans are preaching doom on deficits – because they’re now manageable. There’s a reason fewer are running against Obamacare – because while good, affordable health care might still be a fanged threat to freedom on Faux News, it’s working pretty well in the real world. ”
It began with Gretchen Carlson expressing “surprise” that Obama would call them out.
Carlson asked Ed Henry, “Why? My question to you, Mr. Henry, is why would he do this?”
Greta Van Sustern threw a fit, and claimed that Obama should lead instead of blaming Faux News:
Van Sustern whined that Obama needs to be presidential, and stop acting cool by blaming Faux News in front of a bunch of students. She pointed to Faux’s viewer numbers and claimed that Faux is “hot.” The Five’s Greg Gutfeld complained, “He bashes FNC more than ISIS, and we don’t behead anybody.” Gutfeld played that tired moldy oldie from the wingnuts that Obama goes after Faux News because Faux is the only network that will challenge the president.
The real reason Faux News is playing defense is the underlying point of Obama’s remark. President Obama told the nation that Faux News doesn’t represent the real world. Obama popped the Faux News bubble. Faux is a tiny fish in a very small pond. The total number of daily cable news viewers is somewhere in the neighborhood of four to five million people. Faux News dominates the cable news audience, but in a country of more than three hundred million people, Faux News and their audience are nothing.
Faux News celebrated because they averaged 1.79 million primetime viewers in the last quarter. Nearly four times more people signed up for Obamacare than watch Faux News. Obama’s portrayal of Faux News as a wingnut fringe cult that is out of touch with the real world was an accurate statement. Faux News has an out sized influence on the country because the mainstream press tends to follow their lead.
Faux is outraged because Obama spoke the truth, and the truth hurts. Faux News and their viewers aren’t living in the real world, and that is reality that the wingnut network will never face.
To really put it into perspective: More people read Carolina Naturally than watch Faux News. Sorry, wingnuts but the truth is the truth.

Biting the Hand That Feeds Them, wingnuts Want to Kick Blue States Out of the Union

According to a new Faux News poll, the red staters that suck off of the rich blue states want to kick the rich blue states out of…
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
The red staters that suck off of the rich blue states want to kick the rich blue states out of the union.
This bit of inanity is brought to us by a Faux News poll, in which 17% of those polled would like to kick another state out of the union.
Since repugicans want to kick a state out of the union—displaying the same unwillingness to cross the aisle and play nice as their representatives in D.C. – it should come as no surprise that the most loathed state is California.
Per Faux News analysis:
Democratic pollster Chris Anderson says voters who want to kick out a state appear to have presidential politics in mind.
“The top four states targeted for expulsion,” he observed, “are also the four most electorally rich states in the country.” Anderson conducts the Faux News poll with repugican hack Daron Shaw, who for his part approvingly noted the first two states on the chopping block are solid blue.
One reason more Democratic states end up on the chopping block is repugicans (21 percent) are more likely than Democrats (13 percent) to want to vote a state out of the union.
In addition, repugicans (12 percent) and independents (13 percent) are three times as likely as Democrats (4 percent) to want their state to secede. Nearly one in four voters who are part of the teabagger cabal would vote for their state to split off (23 percent).
Fifty-three percent of those polled wanted to kick California out of the union. California is home to the huge export business of films and much entertainment. Goodbye Silicon Valley revenue. Meh. No biggie, the repugicans will be fine without the money generated and the products provided by either.
The next state is also blue and the home of much money, but 25% of these self-sabotaging voters want to kick New York out of the union.
The larger problem with wingnuts wanting to kick blue states out of the union is that, according to an analysis done by personal finance social network WalletHub, those individualistic, pulling selves up by their own bootstraps Red States “are altogether more reliant on federal funding than Blue States.”
The list of deadbeat Red States includes, South Carolina, Idaho, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia, according to figures provided by the Tax Foundation. The Red States as welfare states conclusion has been proven over and over again from different sources. While we’re at it, the majority of food stamp recipients are white.

It turns out that the beloved and much-worn wingnut narrative about bold, wingnut leadership resulting in a lower tax on residents is the result of federal dependence, and not said leadership. It’s a handout. It’s welfare that keeps those Red States afloat. Some of the least dependent states California, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, and Minnesota.
The Blue States are keeping the Red States afloat. There are exceptions to this rule, but overall this is the trend.
Of course the feelings are mutual, just by a lesser degree and with less self to no-harm. Twenty percent want to drop Texas and 11% want to kick Florida to the curb, both of which score as more dependent.
In the wake of Mitt Romney’s 47% comments, the American wingnut pointed out that Mitt Romney’s reviled 47% live in the secession loving confederacy. “On the other hand, eight of the ten states with the highest non-payment rates are solidly repugican. The exceptions are New Mexico and Florida…. In short, Romney’s geographic base is in states where large numbers of households pay no net federal income tax.”
The wingnut Wall Street Journal got in on it too, noting, “Delaware residents, who voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama in 2012, get 50 cents in federal funding for every $1 in federal income taxes they pay. Mississippi — 55.5% for Mitt Romney — cashes in with $3.07 in federal funding for every dollar paid in income taxes.”
This is an old story that only gets more pathetic the longer it continues. The repugicans are not living much of the economic value system that they espouse. The repugican cabal turns wingnuts into self-loathing machines, too focused on hatred of the other to realize that the other is them. They are the 47%.
So wingnuts continue to bite the hand that feeds them. That they can’t manage to do this without utterly misplaced smug self-righteousness that speaks to a pitiful self loathing is the curse Democrats must bear for their generosity and empathy.
The repugicans want to kick California and New York out. They’ll get their handouts from some other blue state, thank you very much.

The repugican Sequester Prevented Health Agencies From Stopping Ebola Spread

There is little money for the agencies tasked with helping stop the virus due to the repugicans' precious sequester the repugican House cannot possibly blame on anyone but themselves (oh, but they will)…
austerity kills3
Consequences happen as a result of a particular action or set of conditions, and heading into the midterm elections, it is certain politicians will be reminding Americans that elections have consequences in the coming weeks. Often, the results of an election may not bear fruit immediately, and although the consequence of teabagger/repugicans taking control of the House and the nation’s purse-strings in the 2010 midterms were immediately evident, they are still and will continue wreaking havoc on the nation for several more years.
After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a case of the Ebola virus was positively diagnosed this week, the outbreak of the virus took on an added air of urgency now that it is in America. Although there have been no fatalities in America, the virus has killed over 3,000 and sickened over 6,500 in Africa. America’s government pledged to send aid to West Africa to help stop Ebola from spreading even more, but there is a minor problem going forward that is a direct consequence of the 2010 midterm elections. There is little money for the agencies tasked with helping stop the virus due to the repugicans’ precious sequester the repugican House cannot possibly blame on anyone but their sick austerity economics.
Two weeks ago in the Senate, committees on Appropriations and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions convened a hearing to “discuss” what kind of resources are necessary to address, and stop the virus from spreading. According to the director of the CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Dr. Beth Bell, the epidemic could have been stopped if more had been done sooner to build global health security.
Bell asserted that if the repugican sequester had not cut aid budgets and global health programs indiscriminately by $411 million, and USAID by $289 million, the epidemic could been reduced to a manageable situation if not stopped altogether. Bell said, “If even modest investments had been made to build a public health infrastructure in West Africa previously, the current Ebola epidemic could have been detected earlier, and it could have been identified and contained. This Ebola epidemic shows that any vulnerability could have widespread impact if not stopped at the source.” Now it has the possibility of impacting Americans.
Despite warnings from economic experts and myriad agencies across the government, repugicans parlayed their fear-mongering about deficits, debt, and “foolish, wasteful, out-of-control, and unnecessary spending” into a devastating sequester that put a major dent in the CDC’s budget that is bearing exactly the fruit experts warned repugicans about. NIH representative Anthony Fauci reiterated Bell’s conclusion and told the committees, “honestly it’s (the sequester) been a significant impact on us. It has both in an acute and a chronic, insidious way eroded our ability to respond in the way that I and my colleagues would like to see us be able to respond to these emerging threats. And in my institute particularly, that’s responsible for responding on the dime to an emerging infectious disease threat, this is particularly damaging.”
The repugicans’ precious sequester required the NIH to cut its budget by $1.55 billion in 2013 across the board that had the desired result of affecting every area of medical research within the agency. Bell agreed with Fauci that her department is leading the U.S. intervention in West Africa, but complained the agency is being hamstrung by a $13 million sequester cut that a minuscule increase in 2014 and 2015 is not going to make up in time to effectively stop the virus’s inevitable spread.
In spite of the daunting, and woefully underfunded, task of stopping “the Ebola virus dead in its tracks,” the CDC and NIH have pledged to everything in their power to get it under control. The CDC Director said a month ago that “We know how to stop this outbreak. There is a window of opportunity to tamp this down-the challenge is to scale up the massive response needed.” That was weeks ago and the consequence of not having funding to “tamp this down with a massive response” is that Ebola spread and made its appearance in America. If the various agencies had not had their funding slashed by the Republicans’ sequester, the outbreak may have been contained to a small area of West Africa and stopped it in its tracks.
This is not the first negative consequence of repugicans’ austerity and sequester cuts. Last week the head of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, said cuts due to the sequester had hurt staffing and had the agency “down 500 employees.” The repugicans claimed the cuts were necessary to rein in spending across the board and subsequently have now affected Veterans, the EPA, IRS, Secret Service, and all national health agencies responsible for stopping real threats like an infectious disease running rampant throughout the population.
However, repugicans certainly know how to find money to spend on their “high priorities” such as corporate tax cuts, oil and pharmaceutical subsidies, and weapons systems the Pentagon does not want, but for something as critical as embassy security, it was prudent to rein in spending and make drastic cuts. Remember, early in 2011 then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begged House repugicans for increased funding for embassy security that led repugicans to promptly make $112 and then $331 million in cuts.
Utah repugican Jason Chavitz boasted that repugicans made the right choice even after the attacks on an outpost in Benghazi and said, “When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.” The repugicans opted for the difficult choice of giving billions in oil subsidies, corporate tax cuts, and shrub-era tax cuts for the rich and cut funding for embassy security that likely cost four American diplomats their lives.
It is important for Americans to remember that the repugicans rejected any proposal to restructure the sequester to prevent devastating cuts to agencies like the Veterans Administration, NIH, Secret Service, and the CDC, but they did not and the negative consequences were felt immediately at the White House and continue today with a dangerous Ebola virus outbreak that could have “been stopped in its tracks” if funding had not been slashed.
The repugicans, and their teabagger cohort came into the House in 2011 with no measured approach to rein in the deficit and just wanted to slash and burn spending. Americans have not yet seen the end of the sequester damage because this is only the second year of a ten year austerity disaster repugicans have no intent of stopping regardless the consequences.
Sadly, it is far too late to reverse the negative austerity effects that are already in place, and repugicans have already promised they will go after everything in the federal government if they win a majority in the Senate. Tragically, even if Democrats maintain the Senate, repugicans will still control the House, and the nation’s purse strings, and they have indicated they have no intent, and are in no mood, to change their austerity habit regardless of the imminent danger to the American people, and according to John Boehner, repugicans have a plan for more drastic cuts in 2015. Elections have consequences and Americans will experience the negative impacts of the 2010 midterms for at least a decade if not a generation.

Ways Angry Customers Have Gotten Back at Big Banks

Scott Olson/Getty Images Warren Nyerges vs. Bank of America  
This one you may remember.
In 2009, Warren Nyerges and his wife Maureen Collier, purchased a home in Florida for $165,000 with cash. They never had a mortgage, but that didn’t stop Bank of America from trying to foreclose on them just a year later. After the matter was looked into, the bank backed off, but not before Nyerges and his wife accrued more than $2,500 in legal fees.
When Bank of America didn’t respond to Nyerges’ request, they took it to court. After being continuously ignored, the couple, along with their attorney, took the matter to a local sheriff’s office. He told deputies to remove the bank’s assets and hand them over, including cash and furniture to pay the bank’s debt to him. The branch manager eventually cut a check for $5,772.88 to get Nyerges out of there.
It gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘reverse mortgage.’

How 'no excuses' charter schools create submissive future workers

The rise of corporate education policy in the United States isn't a labor issue only because it attacks teachers and their unions. Education is how the nation shapes its future workers. Education scholar Joan Goodman details how many charter schools are training children:
... these schools have developed very elaborate behavioral regimes that they insist all children follow, starting in kindergarten. Submission, obedience, and self-control are very large values. They want kids to submit. You can't really do this kind of instruction if you don't have very submissive children who are capable of high levels of inhibition and do whatever they're told. [...]
In order to maximize academic accomplishment, no time can be wasted and anything that's not academically targeted, that's not geared to what the students have to know, is time wasted. So there is almost no opportunity for play, for relaxation, very little time for extra-curricular activities. The day is jammed with academics, especially math and reading because that's what gets tested. The view of time and strict discipline are related, by the way; in order to get these kids to attend over very long hours-they have extended days and extended weeks-you have to be tough with the kids, really severe. They want these kids to understand that when authority speaks you have to follow because that's basic to learning.
Submission to authority and tolerance for working long hours in a rigid environment. Doesn't that sound like a bad boss's dream?

Judge tosses suit over California law on egg sales

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by Missouri and five other states asking the court to strike down a California law barring the sale of eggs in the state produced by hens in cramped living conditions.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller dismissed the suit Thursday, giving California a major victory in a cross-country battle that pitted animal protections against the economic interests of farmers in the South and Midwest.
Mueller said the states lacked legal standing to sue because they failed to show that the California law does genuine harm to their citizenry instead of just possible future damage to some egg producers.
"It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state's egg farmers," Mueller wrote in the decision, "not on behalf of each state's population generally."
She also ruled that the suit can't be refiled or amended, though the states can appeal.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed the lawsuit in February challenging the law that is set to take effect in January, 2015. Nebraska, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Iowa joined in March.
Koster's office said Friday that it was reviewing its options to continue the legal fight.
"We disagree with the federal court's opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures," Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said in an email.
The states contended the California law violates the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by effectively imposing new requirements on out-of-state farmers.
The six states combine to produce 20 billion eggs a year, of which nearly 2 billion are sold in California. Koster contended Missouri farmers would have to spend about $120 million to remodel their cages to comply with California's law or lose out on sales to a crucial market.
In a statement released when the lawsuit was filed, Koster said the case is "not just about farming practices" but about "whether elected officials in one state may regulate the practices of another state's citizens, who cannot vote them out of office."
The Humane Society of America, which helped defend the law in court, praised the move.
"We are delighted that Judge Mueller has dismissed this baseless lawsuit, and ordered that it can never be filed again," said Jonathan Lovvorn, the organization's chief counsel for animal protection litigation. "The Judge's opinion not only found that Attorney General Koster and the other attorneys general do not even have standing to file their case, but that their entire theory for why California's food safety and hen protection law will harm egg farmers is totally without merit."
California voters approved a 2008 ballot measure that required pigs, calves and egg-laying hens to be raised with enough space to allow them to lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs.
California legislators later expanded the law to ban the sale of eggs in the state from any hens that were not raised in compliance with its animal care standards.

Man caught with stolen bouncy castle after he inflated it outside his home

A 39-year-old man from Derry in Northern Ireland who bought a large stolen bouncy castle worth £5,000 was caught by police after he inflated it outside his own home. Patrick Coyle, of Cashel Hill, was charged with handling stolen property in the Republic of Ireland.
The court heard that police received a report of a stolen bouncy castle worth £5,000 that had been stolen in Co Donegal.
Police then found the bouncy castle ‘fully inflated’ outside Coyle’s home with electric cables and a pump running from his house to power it. Coyle was convicted of handling stolen goods. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years.

Con men used Monopoly money to pay for €6 million worth of jewels

A Greek jeweler who thought he’d found a way to avoid the tax man was left empty-handed and red-faced after selling over €6 million (£4.7 million, $7.5 million) worth of jewels to two con men who paid him with a suitcase full of Monopoly money.
It started several weeks back when two people who claimed they were French contacted the Greek man to buy four “rare” rings and a necklace. After some discussions online and over the phone, the trio decided to meet in Paris to do the deal. So it was on September 25th the men met. The buyers came with a suitcase filled with €6 million in cash, which is not uncommon in deals for pricey antiques or jewellery where the parties want to avoid paying taxes.
At this point, the jeweler later claimed to police, to carry out his due diligence on the money. He says he plucked one of the wads of €500 bills out of the case and took it around the corner to currency exchange for verification. Once the veracity of the bills was verified, the jeweler says he headed back to the hotel and concluded the sale. However then things took a turn for the worse from his point of view.
“After his clients left the jeweler checked the rest of the bills. That’s when he realized there was a problem. The majority of the bills bore the name of the famous game Monopoly,” an unnamed source said. The jeweler then desperately tried to reach the buyers, but not surprisingly they didn’t answer their phone. Instead he ended walking into the police station and recounting his sad tale.

Door-to-door popcorn-selling Cub Scouts menaced by sword-wielding man

A man wielding a large sword menaced a group of Cub Scouts who knocked on his door as they sought to sell popcorn in a fundraising drive, Wisconsin police report.
After the children knocked on the door of his Sparta residence, Owen Reese, 22, “opened the door holding a sword above his head and immediately began yelling” at them, according to police. While holding the sword over his head and “motioning like he was going to swing it at them.”
Reese got within five feet of the Cub Scouts before they “escaped unharmed.” When officers arrived at Reese’s residence, he again answered the door “holding a sword with both hands at shoulder height.” He dropped the weapon when the officers leveled their guns at him.
A subsequent search of Reese’s home turned up “a large number of knives and swords, as well as marijuana and several smoking devices.” Reese was arrested for reckless endangerment and cited for “drug related offenses.” During questioning by Sparta Police Department officers, Reese explained that his sword-wielding was commonplace: “Reese told officers he always answers the door with a sword to protect himself against religious people.”

Greek Mythic Warrior Women Not Purely Imaginary

by Adrienne Mayor
Overwhelming evidence now shows that the Amazon traditions of the Greeks and other ancient societies were based largely on historical facts, says Adrienne Mayor in this excerpt from "The Amazons," which looks at these women in myth and history.
mosaic of amazons
The Amazon queen Melanippe, ancient mosaic, Sanliurfa, Turkey.
Who were the Amazons?
In Greek myth, Amazons were fierce warrior women of exotic Eastern lands, as courageous and skilled in battle as the mightiest Greek heroes. Amazons were major characters not only in the legendary Trojan War but also in the chronicles of the greatest Greek city-state, Athens.

Every great champion of myth--Heracles, Theseus, Achilles--proved his valor by overcoming powerful warrior queens and their armies of women. Those glorious struggles against foreign man-killers were re- counted in oral tales and written epics and illustrated in countless art- works throughout the Greco-Roman world. Famous historical figures, among them King Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great and the Roman general Pompey, also tangled with Amazons.
Greek and Latin authors never doubted that Amazons had existed in the remote past, and many reported that women living the life of Amazons still dwelled in lands around the Black Sea and beyond. Modern scholars, on the other hand, usually consign Amazons to the realm of the Greek imagination.
But were Amazons real? Though they were long believed to be purely imaginary, overwhelming evidence now shows that the Amazon traditions of the Greeks and other ancient societies derived in large part from historical facts. Among the nomad horse-riding peoples of the steppes known to the Greeks as "Scythians," women lived the same rugged outdoor life as the men. These "warlike tribes have no cities, no fixed abodes," wrote one ancient historian; "they live free and unconquered, so savage that even the women take part in war." Archaeology reveals that about one out of three or four nomad women of the steppes was an active warrior buried with her weapons. Their lifestyle--so different from the domestic seclusion of Greek women--captured the imagination of the Greeks. The only real-life parallels in Greece were rare instances of wives forced to defend their families and towns against invaders in the absence of their husbands.
'Going Amazon' an Option
The myth of Atalanta seems to suggest that a girl raised in a natural state would grow up to be something like an Amazon. In reality, "going Amazon" was an option for girls who had been raised since childhood to ride horses and shoot arrows on the steppes. The "equalizing" combination of horseback riding and archery meant that women could be as fast and as deadly as men. Whether by choice or compelled by circumstances, ordinary women of Scythia could be hunters and warriors without giving up femininity, male companionship, sex and motherhood.
The universal quest to find balance and harmony between men and women, beings who are at once so alike and so different, lies at the heart of all Amazon tales. That timeless tension helps to explain why there were as many love stories about warrior women as there were war stories.
In a nutshell: Amazons, the female warriors who fought Heracles and other heroes in Greek myth, were long assumed to be an imaginative Greek invention. But Amazon-like women were real--although of course the myths were made up. Archaeological discoveries of battle- scarred female skeletons buried  with weapons prove that warlike women really did exist among nomads of the Scythian steppes of Eurasia. So Amazons were Scythian women--and the Greeks understood this long before modern archaeology.
And the Greeks were not the only ones to spin tales about Amazons. Thrilling adventures of warrior heroines of the steppes were told in many ancient cultures besides Greece.
My mission was to sort myth from fact. As the first full compendium of the lives and legends of Amazons across the ancient world, my book explores the realities behind the stories, digging deep and ranging far afield to unearth hidden knowledge and surprising recent discoveries about the female warriors mythologized as Amazons. How do we know for certain that Amazon-like women actually existed in antiquity? Did Amazons really cut off one breast? Were Amazons tattooed? What about their sex life? Why would Amazons prefer trousers instead of skirts? Which intoxicants did they favor? How did they train their horses? What were the Amazons' most deadly weapons and what kind of injuries did they inflict?
Once we know what genuine warrior women's lives were like, the famous Amazons of classical myth and legend spring to life with remarkable new clarity.

1000-year-old skull and matching jawbone washed up on Mona Vale beach in Sydney, Australia

1000-year-old skull and matching jawbone washed up on Mona Vale beach in Sydney
She was a little girl — or perhaps a little boy — who has been dead for 1000 years but a team of modern scientists is not going to let her down.
The jawbone of a toddler aged three to five, found among the kelp on Mona Vale beach three weeks ago, has been matched to a skull that washed ashore exactly six years ago.
Adding to the mystery: the bones are not Aboriginal.

The First Baby Ever Born from a Transplanted Uterus

3 years ago, we mentioned that researchers in Sweden were planning the world's first uterus transplant. This would have offered new options for women for whom fertility is a lost cause. According to Dr. Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg, their efforts have been fruitful. Brannstrom and his colleagues published an article in the medical journal The Lancet reporting on the first successful live birth from a transplanted uterus.
Last month, a 36-year old woman who received one of the transplanted uteri gave birth to a premature but healthy baby boy. She had been born without a uterus, but had healthy ovaries. A 61-year old friend of her family donated her uterus to the woman. 6 weeks after she gave birth, the woman had a period, which indicates that the uterus remains healthy. She could try for a second baby, but the AP reports that she's not considering that right now.

32 Painfully True Facts About Everyday Life

Danish writer Mikael Wulff and cartoon artist Anders Morgenthaler have created a brilliant series of graphs that illustrate some of the basic painful truths of everyday life in the Western world.
Their graphs and diagrams are snarky and sarcastic but, for the most part, true. This, coupled with their simple and official-looking design, makes them a delight to look at.

The World Of Coffee

Next to oil, coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world. Coffee is a big part of everyone's daily life and yet we know so little about it. Aside from knowing the difference between a tall, grande, and venti, do we even know the origins or filtering methods of our coffee?
Spanish design company Hey Studio and Mansel Fletcher of Mr. Porter has come up with a really cool infographic that will get us up to date on the drink we all love and crave.

Salar De Uyuni

A Spectacular Sea Of Salt
The world's largest salt flats, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, is an other-worldly experience that has to be seen to be believed. It's one of the strangest places our third rock from the sun has to offer.

Marijuana Corn Fields

"Once a corn field is planted and herbicide applied, many farmers don’t return to a given field until harvest time. The biotechnological and labor-saving innovations that have reduced costs for corn farmers mean that literally no one walks into the average corn field during the growing season. Which presents a major opportunity for marijuana growers."

Angry, Rolling Cloud

Undulatus asperatus is Latin for 'agitated waves,' and it basically resembles an enormous, rumpled blanket stretched out across the sky.

Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare 'Selenelion'

Total Lunar Eclipse On Wednesday Will Be a Rare 'Selenelion' Observers of Wednesday morning's total lunar eclipse might be able to catch sight of an extremely rare cosmic sight.
On Oct. 8, Interested skywatchers should attempt to see the total eclipse of the moon and the rising sun simultaneously. The little-used name for this effect is called a "selenelion," a phenomenon that celestial geometry says cannot happen.
And indeed, during a lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky. In a perfect alignment like this (called a "syzygy"), such an observation would seem impossible. But thanks to Earth's atmosphere, the images of both the sun and moon are apparently lifted above the horizon by atmospheric refraction. This allows people on Earth to see the sun for several extra minutes before it actually has risen and the moon for several extra minutes after it has actually set.
As a consequence of this atmospheric trick, for many localities east of the Mississippi River, watchers will have a chance to observe this unusual sight firsthand. Weather permitting, you could have a short window of roughly 2 to 9 minutes (depending on your location) with the possibility of simultaneously seeing the sun rising in the east while the eclipsed full moon is setting in the west. 
Regions of visibility
From Newfoundland, the start of the partial stages of the total eclipse begins about 30 to 45 minutes before moonset.
A growing scallop of darkness will appear on the upper left part of the moon when it sets as the sun is coming up. Across eastern Nova Scotia, only the lowermost portion of the moon will be in view as it drops below the western horizon. Farther to the west and south along the Atlantic seaboard, the moon will rise completely immersed in the Earth's shadow.
Now you see it … now you don't?
Then again, sighting a selenelion might be problematic feat. Twenty-five years ago, in the August 1989 issue of Sky & Telescope, Bradley Schaefer, an astronomer who extensively studied the visibility of the moon when it was low in the sky, noted that the full moon only becomes visible when it is about 2 degrees up and the sun is about 2 degrees below the horizon.
So, depending on the clarity of your sky, you might have up to roughly 10 to 15 minutes before sunrise for the sky to still be dark enough, and the moon to be high enough above any horizon haze for it to be clearly visible. And keep in mind that this holds only for the uneclipsed portion of the moon. You might, however, be able to mitigate the effects of a brightening sky somewhat by using binoculars or a telescope.
If the moon is totally eclipsed prior to sunrise, you probably are going to have to scan the western horizon with binoculars as the twilight brightens in order to still detect some semblance of the Moon, which will somewhat resemble a very dim and eerily illuminated mottled softball.
A peculiar moonset
People who live in those portions of the United States and Canada that are a few hundred miles inland from the Eastern Seaboard should have a good view of the Moon's emergence from the umbra somewhat later. The low, partially eclipsed Moon in deep-blue twilight should offer a wide variety of interesting scenic possibilities for both artists and astrophotographers. From Toronto and points south through the eastern Ohio Valley and into the Piedmont to the Florida Gulf Coast, a peculiar-looking, waxing crescent moon with its cusps pointing downward will appear to set beyond the western horizon.
Farther west, across the western Great Lakes and down through the Deep South to the Gulf of Mexico, the moon will appear to be notched on its lower right side by the shadow.
Going still farther west, the Moon will go down "full," but if the western horizon is haze-free, assiduous observers from much of Minnesota, western Iowa, eastern portions of Nebraska and Kansas as well as central sections of Oklahoma and Texas might still be able to detect a faint penumbral stain on the moon's lower right limb.

Majorana Discovery

If you thought the search for the Higgs boson — the elusive particle that endows matter with mass — was epic, spare a thought for the physicists who have been trying to find a way to discover another subatomic particle … 

How fast are we going?

There's nothing in the universe that isn't moving -- even us. Trace tries to slow things down long enough to calculate just how fast we little humans, even when seated, are flying through space.

Aliens are too far away?

The Milky Way may be home to some 3,000 extraterrestrial civilizations but the vast distances between our galactic cousins will make contact extremely rare, a new study concludes. 

Bizarre Facts About Jellyfish That Will Blow Your Mind

Did you know that some jellyfish have 'immortal' properties, that they don't need a respiratory system and that the largest jellyfish species, the lion's mane jellyfish, can have tentacles that can grow over 90 feet long.

Animal Pictures